Posted On: 07/27/19 5:54 PM

White Station High School guard Jacob Roberts is a player to keep an eye for low major college basketball programs.  He will graduate with his Class of 2021.

State Rankings are based on what a player will be.  Where will he be at his pinnacle?  This evaluation is more of an analysis of where a player is right now.  There is some speculation embedded, but consider what he is now more than what he might become.

Jacob Roberts is certain to start both his junior and senior seasons at White Station High School in Memphis.  The large, public school boasts a nice basketball legacy of which Jacob Roberts might just add to. 

What skills and attributes make Jacob Roberts a college prospect?  What does he need to work on?

Offense (0-15): 10

Doesn’t need to shoot, but NEEDS the ball to play his best. 

Jacob Roberts is not an off-ball player.  He wants to be in command.  Even if he instantly passes to a post player or finds the wing for a jumper, he just wants to touch the ball every possession.  

Needs more speed.  A little street to his game.

Quick first step, but doesn’t create the ideal separation when he beats his man.  

Strength is nice.  During the NCAA Basketball Academy (July 2019), Roberts finished well in traffic when he was able to get the defender on his shoulder.  He did not finish well in traffic when he tried to elevate over the defense.  More shifty than explosive at this point in his development.

Defense (0-10): 5

Jacob Roberts needs to improve defensively.  Right now he is average on the ball and often lost off the ball.  Can slide his feet ok, sometimes better than ok.

His team defense is poor. Roberts gets spun around too often.

His head gets turned around a lot.   Roberts is average keeping his man in front of him.   Off-the-ball he gets caught in a silo.  No idea where the play is developing away from him.  Needs to improve defensive court awareness a lot.  

During one curl Saturday evening (7/27) he simply followed his man from two steps behind all the way through the play.  The culprit might have been poor court awareness.  It might have been uninvestment (unlikely).  Perhaps, he was too slow to keep tight to his man.  

This will be a concern as long as Roberts allows it to be a weakspot in his game.

Rebounding (0-10):  7

Roberts doesn’t hungrily pursue the misses, but he is capable of rebounding when he is nearby.  Roberts plays with strong shoulders and better than average mental toughness. 

Several plays showed that Roberts is a decent offensive rebounder in his area. At the end of the game, Roberts pulled down a long miss by jumping over his defender just underneath the front rim.  Roberts’ defender stood about 5-foot-10, but it still displayed both a willingness and a capacity to rebound a miss.

He does not collect rebounds outside of his immediate area and during most defensive possessions he is looking for the outlet pass of the rim instead of collecting the basketball himself.  This is not necessarily a problem as bigs generally hunt rebounds.  Just an observation. 

For a guard, possibly an eventual point guard, Jacob is better than average but not amazing on the glass.

Passing (0-10):   9

Jacob Roberts will be one of the best passers in the state this season.  When playing with great finishers, the 2021 guard looks his best.  

He sees the movement of the players well.   Doesn’t get sticky hands and over-dribble really.   Seems to have a lead guard mind.  
Throws a beautfiul alley-oop.  He has that really smooth, subtle, effortless-appearing passing motion. Everything is very guarded and careful.  His subtle movements make him difficult to read.  There is very little “telegraphing” to his game.  Defenders are forced to either guess or wait until the last second when guarding Roberts.  He is clever and hardly predictable. 

Intangibles (0-5): 4

Cares about winning.  Not selfish.  Good height for the position.  Likes to lead without needing to be “the guy.”  

He is an emotional player, but doesn’t convey any emotion really.  Very guarded facially with very little communication.  Ideally, he will give his teammates more instruction and encouragement.  It is clear by his body language inbetween plays that he is very supportive of his guys.  He wants them to succeed and certainly cares.  It is definitely something Jacob can do, but will he?

FINAL SCORE (0-50): 35

The future of Jacob Roberts depends upon lower body development, ability to defend his position, and outside shooting.  For all the things he does very well, these are three that demand attention in the next two years. 

College basketball is likely for Jacob because he is tall for a point guard, sees the floor very well, and doesn’t cower from contact or big moments.  He has the makeup to be a small college to medium college basketball player if everything breaks right.

He loves to inspire, motivate his guys.  Natural leader, though currently too quiet on the floor.

Jacob Roberts is a player with potential to play college basketball.  It is more likely than not that he will be enrolling somewhere in the fall of 2021.

Previous evaluations

36     Brandon Miller (2022 Cane Ridge)
33     B.J. Marable (2020 Grace Christian)
33     Brandon Thomas (2018 Blackman)


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